Asee peer logo

Work in Progress: Design Educators’ Conceptions of Prototyping in Engineering Design Courses

Download Paper |

Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ERM Technical Session 22: Perspectives and Evaluation of Engineering Design Education

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

6

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33602

Download Count

1

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Hadi Ali Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus

visit author page

Hadi Ali is a doctoral student in Engineering Education Systems and Design at Arizona State University.

visit author page

biography

Micah Lande South Dakota School of Mines & Technology

visit author page

Micah Lande, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor and E.R. Stensaas Chair for Engineering Education in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. He teaches human-centered engineering design, design thinking, and design innovation courses. Dr. Lande researches how technical and non-technical people learn and apply design thinking and making processes to their work. He is interested in the intersection of designerly epistemic identities and vocational pathways. Dr. Lande received his B.S. in Engineering (Product Design), M.A. in Education (Learning, Design and Technology) and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (Design Education) from Stanford University. He was previously an Assistant Professor in the Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering programs and Tooker Professor for Effective STEM Education at the Polytechnic School in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

This is a research study that investigates the range of conceptions of prototyping in engineering design courses through exploring the conceptions and implementations from the instructors’ perspective. Prototyping is certainly an activity central to engineering design. The context of prototyping to support engineering education and practice has a range of implementations in an undergraduate engineering curriculum, from first-year engineering to capstone engineering design experiences. Understanding faculty conceptions’ of the reason, purpose, and place of prototyping can help illustrate how teaching and learning of the engineering design process is realistically implemented across a curriculum and how students are prepared for work practice. We seek to understand, and consequently improve, engineering design teaching and learning, through transformations of practice that are based on engineering education research.

In this exploratory study, we interviewed three faculty members who teach engineering design in project-based learning courses across the curriculum of an undergraduate engineering program. This builds on related work done by the authors that previously investigated undergraduate engineering students’ conceptions of prototyping activities and process. With our instructor participants, a similar interview protocol was followed through semi-structured qualitative interviews. Data analysis has been undertaken through an emerging thematic analysis of these interview transcripts. Early findings characterize the focus on teaching the design process; the kind of feedback that the educators provide on students’ prototypes; students’ behavior while working on design projects; and educators’ perspectives on the design course.

Understanding faculty conceptions with students’ conceptions of prototyping can shed light on the efficacy of using prototyping as an authentic experience in design teaching and learning. In project-based learning courses, particular issues of authenticity and assessment are under consideration, especially across the curriculum. More specifically, “proportions of problems” inform “problem solving” as one of the key characteristics in design thinking, teaching and learning. More attention to prototyping as part of the study of problem-solving processes can be useful to enhance understanding of the impact of instructional design. Challenges for teaching engineering design exist, and may be due to difficulties in framing design problems, recognizing what expertise students possess, and assessing their expertise to help them reach their goals, all at an appropriate place and ambiguity with student learning goals.

Initial findings show that prototyping activities can help students become more reflective on their design. Scaffolded activities in prototyping can support self-regulated learning by students. The range of support and facilities, such as campus makerspaces, may also help students and instructors alike develop industry-ready engineering students.

Ali, H., & Lande, M. (2019, June), Work in Progress: Design Educators’ Conceptions of Prototyping in Engineering Design Courses Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33602

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015